Crime

Defence Lawyer Denies Zip-Bags Belonged To Lateef

Lateef is charged with one count each of found in possession of an illicit drug and of breach of bail conditions.
25 Aug 2019 09:32
Defence Lawyer Denies Zip-Bags Belonged To Lateef
Shazran Abdul Lateef outside the Magistrates Court in Suva. Photo: Ashna Kumar

Former lawyer Shazran Abdul Lateef’s defence counsel has told the court that the five zip-lock bags found at Lateef’s house did not belong to him.

This is the fifth case where Lateef is facing a drug charge.

He appeared before Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili yesterday for his bail hearing.

Lateef is charged with one count each of found in possession of an illicit drug and of breach of bail conditions.

For the first offence, it is alleged that Lateef on August 14, this year, in Raiwaqa, Suva, was found in possession of 0.0063 grams of white crystal substances known as methamphetamine, an illicit drug.

For the second offence, it is alleged that Lateef on August 14, this year, being an accused person bailed with conditions on May 7, 2019, by the Magistrates Court in Suva, vide case number 541/19, without reasonable excuse breached one of the conditions by reoffending while on bail.

Defence lawyer Filimoni Vosarogo told the court that the five zip-lock bags were found by the door of a bedroom upstairs which did not belong to Lateef.

He told the court that Lateef’s house had nine bedrooms of which four on the third level were occupied by different people and Lateef’s bedroom was on the second level.

He told the court that when the Police had found the zip lock bags, Lateef had told them the names of the occupants of that particular room.

Mr Vosarogo told the court that Lateef in his caution interview statement had said he (Lateef) was not aware of the white substances because it was not found in his room.

Mr Vosarogo also highlighted to the court that on the second charge, the matter 541/19 has been discontinued by the Director of Public Prosecutions as they had filed a nolle prosequi in the case.

He told the court that on those grounds, Lateef did not breach his bail conditions.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Josua Shaw told the court that Lateef has four other similar offences pending in court.

Magistrate Ratuvili has remanded Lateef in custody and adjourned the matter for bail ruling to August 28.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

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